Søren Rosenbak

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Design as Critical Practice
Titel på avhandling: 
Pata-Design (working title)
Beskrivning av avhandling: 

'A critical design practice' entails a criticality towards something: society, technology, sustainability etc. In being critical, the design discipline is actively addressing the fact that the current status quo is simply one version of how things could be, one rendering out of a multitude of possibilities. From this perspective, ‘design fictions’ is an especially interesting subdiscipline, as it leverages this basic premise into a conscious temporal dimension. With its capability of extrapolating weak signals of the present into desirable as well as undesirable futures, presents and pasts, design fictions expand and reflect on our ability (and desire) to produce change. In asking the essential question: “what if?”, design in this way imagines and articulates any number of alternatives to the current, unfolding trajectory. Pataphysics, defined by it’s inventor Alfred Jarry as: “(…) the science of imaginary solutions, which symbolically attributes the properties of objects, described by their virtuality, to their lineaments” (Jarry, 1965 [1911]), is highly interesting in this respect. By defying the objectivity of empirical science that underpins and pervades the vast parts of the (imaginary and non-imaginary) world, pataphysics offers a radically different position, namely a position of infinite, equivalent positions, or rather exceptions. This shift has intricate, profound implications for the design discipline, and I hypothesise that pataphysics provides a particularly fertile ground for questioning and advancing a critical design practice. Thus, my thesis is concerned with prototyping a pataphysically infused critical design practice.  


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Designfakulteten grundades i december 2007 med finansiering från Vetenskapsrådet och KTH. Dess främsta verksamhet är att driva en nationell forskarskola i design i samarbete med ett 20-tal institutioner runt om i Sverige.

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